Kurdish-led Syrian forces seize villages in northern Syria

Casey Mills
October 20, 2016

Russian officials said the "humanitarian pause" should allow civilians and militants safe passage out of the city.

The evacuation began in September, following a deal struck with the government.

Assad rejected the iconic image in August of five-year-old Omran Daqneesh following an airstrike as "manipulated" and said he would send the journalist conducting the interview photos to prove his claim.

A Syrian negotiator says 38 buses carrying almost 2,000 people, including 700 gunmen, have been evacuated from a government-besieged suburb of Damascus following a deal to empty it of rebels. "I will do everything tonight with Chancellor Merkel so that this truce is extended", Hollande said after meeting representatives from rebel-held areas of Aleppo.

Ghandour said that after Wednesday's evacuation, the suburb would be free of all gunmen and state control would be imposed.

Moscow had announced on Tuesday that the Russian and Syrian air forces had stopped bombing Aleppo to pave the way for an eight-hour truce on Thursday.

Syria's government characterizes as terrorists all the rebel groups seeking to bring down President Bashar al-Assad, some of which are backed by European countries, the United States, Turkey and Gulf Arab states.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Kurdish-led forces, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, gained control of Hassajek, killing at least 10 IS militants in fighting there. It said its troops also seized weapons and ammunition from IS. Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces have captured the symbolically significant town of Dabiq from the Islamic State group, the factions said Sunday morning. The Turkey-backed offensive also aims to undercut Kurdish aspirations for a contiguous and independent east-to-west stretch of territory in Syria.

The military's Reconciliation Center in Syria said Tuesday's strike on the village of Hassajek also wounded four people and destroyed two houses.

The center says Russian military surveillance means spotted two Belgian F-16 fighter jets over the area at the time of the strike. Russia's Tass news agency reported from Brussels that the Belgian defense minister denied Belgian aircraft had struck the area.

Just hours before he meets the leaders of Russian Federation and Germany, French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday that he's urgently trying to extend an eleven hour ceasefire planned for tomorrow in Aleppo.

A plan to pause fighting for eight hours in rebel-held east Aleppo from 0500 GMT on Thursday has been announced by Assad regime ally Russian Federation - with no word from the Damascus government that it intends to honour the deal.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 640 people, including 128 children, have been killed in rebel-held parts of Aleppo and the surrounding rural areas since a truce brokered by the US and Russian Federation collapsed on September 19.

The Observatory says that since the collapse of the truce on Sept.19, more than 640 people, including 128 children, have been killed in rebel-held parts of Aleppo and the surrounding rural areas.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the break in fighting should allow the moderate opposition in the east to sever ties with militants.

Other reports by MyHealthBowl

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